Martin Robinson's art lessons

Alla Prima life art.

Using oils wet-on-wet in the life class.

It may be a bit daunting doing oil painting in the life class, but this is how I do it.

  1. Canvas and easel.
  2. Palette - I'm old fashioned enough to use a hand-held shaped wooden one.
  3. Paints - no more than 5 colours to represent tones.   (Here I used Cobalt Violet, Naples Yellow, Cerulean Blue, Payne's Grey & Titanium White.)
  4. Solvent - Turps substitute or white spirit isn't very healthy and often banned in group classes, so I use 'Zest-it' which isn't toxic and based on citrus oils, and perhaps linseed oil.
  5. Selection of brushes including 'fan' brush.
  6. Charcoal (optional) plus fixer/hairspray.

I usually start by making a quick outline sketch of the model using charcoal which I then 'fix' with hairspray.

(But it can also give a good effect if not fixed, as the charcoal will run into the paint and can be used to enhance shading.)

Sometimes however, I bypass the sketch stage and go straight into applying paint.

It is now time to apply the mid tones, and here I used cerulaen blue.

The advantages of using oils as opposed to acrylic paints, is that the paint remains wet and blendable.

And this is the 70cm x 50cm result which took about an hour overall:-

And here is another one hour painting (80cm x 40cm) using cadmium orange, cobalt blue, titanium white and vandyke brown:-